I thought my latest faux pas might amuse some of you.
We had a visit, just after Christmas, from some new neighbours who wanted to introduce themselves to us. Michel’s metier is to travel incognito around France testing restaurants for an organisation (not Michelin). Corinne, his wife, is a retired concert pianist. What an interesting couple!
Michel looked at the corner of the room where I have a basket of logs for the fire standing just below the TV set. He asked me if I used French or English oak. I launched into a long story in my impeccable (???) French and explained how, for five years running, I went out each winter chopping down oak trees in the local woods and carrying them back to a trailer and bringing them home and then, when I moved house, re-transporting them, and we still have enough wood left for a few years yet.
He looked at me with his mouth open for a while and I thought perhaps he had not understood a word of my rather rambling story. Then the penny dropped he said “Non, non, non, pas chêne. Je vous ai demandé quelle chaîne vous regardiez en français ou en anglais ? “